Owning Property in Belize as a Foreigner
Belize used to be the best-kept secret in the Caribbean & Central America. Over recent years, Belize has become increasingly popular as a tropical paradise and the ideal destination for tourism, diving, fishing, retirement, and investment. Buying a property in Belize might mean a smart investment, a dream vacation property, or the opportunity to start over as an ex-pat (retirement or transition). The big draw to owning property in Belize is the fact that foreigners can buy property freely in Belize. Every year, more and more Americans and Canadians are buying property in Belize. Foreigners are buying property in Belize for numerous benefits. This is why investors and ex-pats are starting to look at Belize real estate and doing research on owning property in Belize. With the tax incentives and desirable climate, people are asking how they can have a home or investment in paradise.
The Belize government does an amazing job of incentivizing tourism as well as foreign investment. Real estate and property ownership are major investment drivers in Belize. One of the major draws to Belize is the fact Belize has full foreign ownership and foreigners have the exact same property ownership rights as locals. When you buy a property (land) in Belize, you own it outright with a fee-simple title. Property ownership in Belize is very similar to the US or Canada, this is largely due to Belize practicing British Common Law. When buying property in Belize as a foreigner it is exceedingly and almost unbelievably easy to buy property in Belize. Especially when compared to other markets like; Mexico, Costa Rica, St Thomas, Panama, Honduras, etc. Belize is one of the most pro-foreign direct investment countries in the Caribbean & Central America region. One of the largest investment drivers is in Belize Real Estate & Property in Belize.
Belize offers a range of investment incentives that promote the foreign ownership of property. In Belize, when buying property as a foreigner, you have the same rights as a Belizean citizen to property ownership. If you are doing research on buying property in Belize and/or other Caribbean destinations you might find reference to an “alien landholding license” or the Alien Landholding Act, it is important to note that the Alien Landholding Act was abolished in 2001. Since its abolishment in 2001, foreigners buying property in Belize have equal property ownership rights as residents or citizens of Belize. This makes it very easy for foreigners to own property in Belize. If you’ve done research on other countries and jurisdictions in the region, and compared the destinations, you know that full foreign ownership is quite rare in much of the Caribbean & Central America, and rarer still in emerging markets like Belize.
Belize is one of the easiest and most amenable countries for foreigners looking to buy real estate. Belize recognizes the rights of non-nationals, and the ownership rights for foreigners (non-nationals) are exactly the same as locals (nationals). Unlike in many other countries in Central America, in Belize non-nationals can buy a property outright rather than have to settle for a long-term lease with the national government or have layered trusts. With Belize’s British ties, the ownership rights are very similar to that in the UK, USA, & Canada.
Another advantage of buying property in Belize is that you do not need to physically be in Belize to make an offer on a property, or to complete a closing. Most real estate transactions in Belize are done remotely and the buyer does not have to physically be in Belize to purchase property in Belize. This makes buying real estate in Belize as a foreigner especially easy and appealing. Knowing that you can do the entire transaction process from the comfort of your own home.
At RE/MAX Belize, we work with people from all over the world that are looking to buy and invest off-shore. Buying and owning property in Belize is very easy. If you are looking at buying or investing in Belize, contact the team at RE/MAX Belize. We are very familiar with ownership structures and how to own property in Belize as a foreigner.